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Myopia Symptoms Causes Treatment Preventions & More All you need to know

December 30, 2021

Myopia is also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. In this, condition patients are able to see the near objects but the objects at distance are blurry.

It is one of the commonest causes of loss of vision throughout the world. In this condition, light rays do not bend correctly and focus in front of the retina instead of on your retina.  

People with myopia are classified into two groups, those with a slight degree of myopia are classified as simple or school myopia, and those with high or pathological myopia.

Myopia occurs due to an error in the refractive power of the lens. The lens is unable to bend the light correctly and an image is formed in front of the retina.

Refractive error is measured in the diopter(D). In mild myopia refractive error is 1.5-6.0D and in pathological or high myopia refractive error is about 8.0D.

The prevalence of myopia is different in different regions. In Asia, the prevalence of myopia is 70-80%, in America and Europe prevalence is 30-40%, and in Africa prevalence is 10-20%.

According to ideological evidence, the prevalence of myopia is 1 to 3 %  is high among Asians than in people of another region.

Myopia Symptoms Causes Treatment Preventions

What Are The Symptoms of Myopia?

Symptoms of myopia are not complicated like other diseases. Symptoms of myopia include:

  • Patients are unable to see the distant objects
  • Squinting of eyes or they have to close their eyes to see the distant object.
  • Headaches
  • Near objects appear clear
  • Eye strain while looking at distant objects
  • Children of school age usually sit near to television.

These are some symptoms that are related to myopic condition.

Types of Myopia:

There are two types of myopia

High Myopia:

It is a rare and inherited type of near-sightedness. It occurs when the eyeball grows larger than its original normal size or the cornea is too steep to bend the light correctly.

High myopia has a refractive error greater than 6D. if left untreated It can lead to complete loss of vision and usually worsen at the age of 20-30 years. 

It can be corrected by using eyeglasses, contact lenses, or by the surgical correction of the refractive error of the eye.

Degenerative Myopia:

It is a very rare and severe form of myopia and usually occurs at the age of childhood. It occurs due to damage to the retina.

What Are The Causes of Myopia?

To understand the causes of myopia you first have to understand the anatomy of the eye. Our eye has two parts that help to bend the light correctly and to form the image on the retina.

These two parts are:

  • Cornea—is clear dome-shaped present in front of the lens
  • Lens—the lens is the clear structure

These two parts bend the light and form the image on the retina normally.

If these parts are unable to bend the light correctly then either the image of the object will form in front of the retina or at the back of the retina. It means there is a refractive error.

Nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball grows larger than the original size or the cornea is too steep to bend the light on the retina. 

Eye experts are unsure about the exact cause of myopia but they think both genetic and environmental factors play role in developing myopia.

When to See a Doctor?

You should have to visit your doctor when you have difficulty in seeing the clear image of the distant objects and you are unable to perform your task as well as you wish.

Seek emergency treatment if you experience:

  • Many eye floaters—tiny dots that drift through your field of vision.
  • When you noticed flashes of light in your eyes
  • When you experience curtain-like shadow in your eyes

Moreover, you have to seek medical treatment when experience eye strain while looking at distant objects and are unable to see the clear image of distant objects.

What Are The Risk Factors of Myopia?

There are certain precipitating factors of myopia, of these environmental and genetic factors play the leading role in myopia.

Eye experts are unable to identify the main reasons for myopia but they believed that environmental and genetic factors play a leading role in having myopia.

Genetic Factors:

If there is a person with myopia in a family, the chances of myopia increases in that family. It is believed that there are certain genes that are affected in myopia and due to which it runs in family.

Genetic factors of myopia still need a lot of research to determine what causes myopia and which gene is responsible. 

Environmental Factors:

Environmental factors like watching television while lying on the bed, reading, visual work while using a computer, and writing. Some researchers believed that watching television may cause myopia.

What Are The complications of Myopia?

Myopia can cause many complications of myopia that can affect your life. Some complications will reduce the quality of life and some will cause abnormalities related to the eye.

If myopia is left untreated it may result in many complications like:

  • Reduced the Quality of life:

Due to poor vision the quality of life will reduce because you will not be able to perform your home tasks and office or school-related, as well as you, wish.

  • Eye Strain and Headache:

Untreated myopia may cause the sue strain and headache when you try to focus on distant objects.

  • Impaired Safety:

Your safety will be reduced when you have uncorrected eyesight especially while driving.

  • Financial Burden:

Financial burden increases due to the management of the eyesight. The cost of correction of eyesight, eye exams, and medical treatment will increase the financial burden.

Vision reduction and vision loss also can also affect the income potential in some families.

  • Other Eye Related Abnormalities:

If myopia is left untreated it will cause other eye-related abnormalities like

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Cataract
  • Myopic maculopathy
  • Permanent loss of vision

Diagnosis of Myopia:

Diagnosis of any disease is important because, on the basis of diagnosis, the treatment plan is formulated. Moreover, it also helps to identify the cause of the disease.

Myopia can be diagnosed by a simple eye examination which includes a refractive error assessment and visual acuity assessment.

  • Refractive Error Assessment

To check your vision your doctor will ask you to look through several lenses and then the power of the lens will be measured.

Your doctor will use the tropicamide drops to dilate your pupil so that your doctor can be able to see wider views inside your eyes.

  • Visual Acuity Assessment

Moreover, your doctor will examine your visual acuity by asking you to read different letters from a specific distance.

  • Light Reflection Assessment:

Then your doctor will use a light retinoscope to check how light is being reflected from your eye.

What Are The Treatments of Myopia?

In the treatment of myopia main goal is to improve the vision by helping to focus light on the retina by using refractive surgery or by the use of corrective lenses.

In the management of myopia doctors also monitor the complications of myopia like retina detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Prescription Lenses:

Corrective lenses treat myopia by counteracting the increased curvature of the cornea or increased length of your eye. Types lenses use:

  • Eyeglasses:

This is a simple way to increase the sharpness of vision. The Variety of lenses used for the correction of myopia includes single vision, bifocal, bifocals, and multifocal.

  • Contact Lenses:

These are artificial lenses that are placed in the eye after surgery to improve vision.

Refractive Surgery:

Refractive surgery decreases the dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. In this method, doctors reshape the cornea that improves the refractive power of the eye. Some surgical methods are given below:

  • Laser-assisted in-situ Keratomileusis(LASIK)

In this method, your eye surgeon makes a thin hinged flap into your cornea and then uses a laser to remove the inner layer of the cornea to flatten the does shape of the cornea.

This method causes less discomfort than the other corneal surgeries and patients recover very fast.

  • Laser-assisted Subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)

In this method, the surgeon makes an ultra-thin flap in the epithelium of the cornea and then uses the laser to remove the extra layer of the cornea to reshape the cornea and then replace the layer.

  • Photorefractive Keratectomy:

This method is very similar to the LASEK but in this method surgeon completely removes the epithelium and then reshapes the cornea. The epithelium is not replaced after the correction of the shape of the cornea. 

Treatments to Slow or Stop Progression Of Myopia:

With the advancement of medicine, researchers are trying to stop myopia from getting worse. There are some methods to stop the progression of myopia:

  • The Topical Medication:

Topical drops are used to dilate the pupil for the examination of the eye or before or after the surgery. These drops stop the progression of myopia but the exact mechanism is still unknown.

Generic Drug:

  • Atropine Drops
    • Tropic amide
  • Increased Time Outside:

Spending most of the time outside during childhood decreases the lifetime risk of myopia.

 According to some researchers, it is because of the exposure to ultraviolet rays that change the structure of the cornea and help to maintain the normal shape.

  • Dual Focus Contact Lenses:

Dual focus contact lenses reduce the progression of myopia in children of age 8-12 years.

  • Orthokeratology;

In this method patrons of myopia wear the rigid gas permeable contact lenses to correct the shape of the cornea.

When the shape of the cornea is corrected you wear the lenses less frequently, but if you stop wearing the lenses your cornea will return to the former shape.

What Are The Home Remedies of Myopia?

Myopia can be treated and prevented from progression at home. There are some home remedies of myopia like:

  • Do the regular checkups of your eyes
  • Control chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure these conditions can affect your vision.
  • Use protective sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Do not look at the sun directly.
  • Wear protective eyewear to protect your eye from injury while painting, mowing the lawn, or using other products that can damage your eyes.
  • Eat healthy food and must add vitamins to your diet to improve your vision. Eat vegetables and fruits.
  • Don’t smoke as smoking is not good for your body same is for the eyes. The toxin present in cigarette smoke can damage your eyes.
  • While reading or writing turns on the light to reduce the strain on the eyes.
  • If you notice in your vision visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment before the underlying condition gets worse.

What Are The Preventive Measures of Myopia?

Myopia can be treated and prevented from progression at home. There are some home remedies of myopia like:

  • Regular Checkups
    • Visit your doctor for regular checkups of the eyes. Must visit your once a year for the proper checkup of visual acuity, and refractive error assessment.
  • Control Chronic Health Conditions
    • Control chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure these conditions can affect your vision if you don’t get rid of these conditions.
  • Protect eyes from direct sunlight
    • Use protective sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Do not look at the sun directly.
  • Protect eyes from Injury
    • Wear protective eyewear to protect your eye from injury while painting, mowing the lawn, or using other products that can damage your eyes.
  • Eat Healthy food
    • Eat healthy food and must add vitamins to your diet to improve your vision. Eat vegetables and fruits.
  • Avoid Smoking
    • Don’t smoke as smoking is not good for your body same is for the eyes. The toxin present in cigarette smoke can damage your eyes.
  • Avoid Reading in Dim Light
    • While reading or writing turns on the light to reduce the strain on the eyes.

If you notice a decrease in vision of the eye without any pain, hazy or blurred vision, double vision, or flashes of light in your eyes you must seek emergency medical treatment before it gets worse and cause permanent damage of vision

Abdur Rashid
Medically Reviewed By Abdur Rashid
MSC Public Health, MCSP, MHCPC
BSC (Hon) Physiotherapy
Consultant Neuro-spinal & Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

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